Monday, February 20, 2017

The Zodiacal Work - Leo

This article is Part Five in a series. Part One can be found here, Part Two can be found here, Part Three can be found here, and Part Four can be found here.

The work of the Zodiac is neglected by most magical resources intended for beginners. The reason for this is that in the tradition, students start out studying the elemental work, move on to the planetary work, and only after that explore the system of the Zodiac. But in the context of practical work, the signs are important, because they represent half of the practical magical powers listed in Liber 777.

When going through this series, you can refer back to my Angels of the Zodiac presentation for additional information. The presentation goes into greater detail regarding some aspects of the zodiacal work, as does my Evoking Zodiacal Angels article in Liber Spirituum.

Today I will be moving on to the sign Leo. In Liber 777, Leo is attributed to the "Power of Training Wild Beasts." This power may be used to aid you in training animal, but it also has a deeper metaphoric meaning. When Buddhists talk about freeing yourself from attachments, what they are talking about is the "karma" of outdated conditioned responses that no longer serve your will. Conditioned responses build up throughout your life in a mostly mechanical way. Your brain's conditioning system simply tries to repeat behaviors for which you were positively reinforced in the past.

Since our circumstances change, running on conditioning is a poor way to become successful. In effect, you are always reacting to situations from a day or a year or even longer ago, whether or not the behavior makes sense in your current situation. As in Buddhism, one of the goals of Western Esotericism is to make our conditioned responses serve us rather than the other way around. This is accomplished by de-conditioning work combined with re-conditioning along more effective lines. In effect, conditioned responses may be thought of as a "wild beast" in this context.

In Qabalah, the signs correspond to the twelve single letters of the Hebrew alphabet. These letters are so named because they correspond to a single specific sounds. The signs are all attributed to the sephira Chockmah, and are associated with paths only in the context of practical magical work. The sephiroth represent states of manifestation, whereas the paths represent the movement of energy between those states.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Let's Try That Again...

Way back in April, I covered the failure of a highly publicized attempt to curse Donald Trump. As far as I could tell, the spell maybe had a small effect, but it was limited to a couple weeks of bad news for the campaign. And clearly, since Trump went on to win both the nomination and the election, it has to be considered a flat-out failure. In my article, I posted a couple of critiques regarding the methods used, and why the operation might have failed.

So now another group is at it again. This binding ritual was recently posted on Medium, and is scheduled for next Friday. Reading through the ritual, I did see some elements that suggest somebody involved either (A) read my critique of the last attempt, or (B) just knows how to construct a ritual. Of course, the two are not mutually exclusive. Given the size of my audience, I would guess (B) probably explains it, but who knows?

A Spell to Bind Donald Trump and All Those Who Abet Him: February 24th Mass Ritual

This document has been making the rounds in a number of magical groups both secretive and public. It was allegedly created by a member of a private magical order who wishes to remain anonymous. I make no claims about its efficacy, and several people have noted it can be viewed as more of a mass art/consciousness-raising project (similar to the 1967 exorcism and levitation of the Pentagon), than an actual magical working. But many are clearly taking it very seriously.

If this is the sort of thing that interests you, go ahead and read the whole thing. It's a ritual, so clipping an excerpt won't really do it justice. For the record, I think the "mass art" thing is basically bullshit. If somebody needs to tell themselves that in order to do this ritual, I think it's very unlikely that they're going to raise any amount of magical power or have any real magical effect. But I digress.

There are a couple of suggestions I can make that might improve the effectiveness of this one, but I would also caution anyone performing it as a group ritual to avoid varying the structure too much. Mass rituals do derive some of their power from synergy between practitioners, and the closer your form is to that of the other participants, the better that should work. I would definitely add the operant field at the beginning if I were to perform it and close with a banishing pentagram ritual to send the created form on its way, but otherwise I would probably leave the rest alone.

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Zodiacal Work - Cancer

This article is Part Four in a series. Part One can be found here, Part Two can be found here, and Part Three can be found here.

The work of the Zodiac is neglected by most magical resources intended for beginners. The reason for this is that in the tradition, students start out studying the elemental work, move on to the planetary work, and only after that explore the system of the Zodiac. But in the context of practical work, the signs are important, because they represent half of the practical magical powers listed in Liber 777.

When going through this series, you can refer back to my Angels of the Zodiac presentation for additional information. The presentation goes into greater detail regarding some aspects of the zodiacal work, as does my Evoking Zodiacal Angels article in Liber Spirituum.

Today I will be moving on to the sign Cancer. In Liber 777, Cancer is attributed to the "Power of Casting Enchantments." An enchantment is any sort of spell that calls something to you or into your life. In Vajrayana Buddhism, it is described as the "magnetizing power," which is the most accurate description I have come across in any esoteric system. An enchantment effectively turns you into a "magnet" for whatever you are casting for. It is a relatively general power, so it can be used to call business opportunities, relationships, employment, or just about any other desired circumstance into your life.

And enchantment can also be cast on external target, in order to call particular circumstances into their lives. As you can imagine, there are many potential applications for this. Cancer also rules enchantment in general, so the angel of Cancer can likewise be called to exclude some circumstance from your life or the life of a target. This makes Cancer quite potent for practical work of all kinds, since its sphere of influence is at least potentially so wide.

In Qabalah, the signs correspond to the twelve single letters of the Hebrew alphabet. These letters are so named because they correspond to a single specific sounds. The signs are all attributed to the sephira Chockmah, and are associated with paths only in the context of practical magical work. The sephiroth represent states of manifestation, whereas the paths represent the movement of energy between those states.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Demon Goths!

So I finally did it. Pat Robertson now has his own tag here on Augoeides. The evangelist and 700 Club host has proved to be a remarkable source of ridiculous statements over the years, and to be fair, a couple of reasonable ones here and there.

Today's post falls into the former category. You know, like most of Robertson's comments do. On The 700 Club, a viewer told Robertson that she was worried about demons attacking her daughter, who dressed in typical Goth fashion and liked horror movies. Robertson went right along with it, explaining that demons were clearly behind this and the mother had to "rebuke Satan" to get rid of them. Which, really, seems pretty far off the deep end for what basically amounts to fashion choices that are out of the mainstream - and liking horror movies, which is totally normal.

Today on “The 700 Club,” a viewer asked host Pat Robertson how she should approach her teenage daughter who likes “‘dark’ things” like “horror movies” and “black lipstick and clothing.” “I fear that demons are working on her,” she added. Robertson responded that her daughter is being influenced by goth culture and recommended that she pray and “bind the spirits” that have taken her daughter captive.

“She’s dressing goth and it’s a whole fashion thing,” he said. “This is demonic and she needs to be delivered. You’re not going to talk her out of it, you’ve got to pray her out of it. I suggest that you begin to rebuke Satan, bind the power of evil and the forces of evil and bind Satan and the forces of evil and say, ‘I command you to leave my daughter.’”

Now here's what I don't understand, and you probably don't either. Let's say that Robertson is right, and this teenager is being attacked and influenced by demons. Don't you think they would have better things to do than make her wear black dresses and makeup and watch horror movies? From a metaphysical standpoint that's utterly pointless. I suppose Robertson probably thinks this is just because the demons are stupid, but still, at the very least they could be making her do things that are actually sinful, instead of just looking weird and liking a genre of film that happens to be quite popular.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Ghost Sex on Television

Sure, why not? Sadly, this image is not actually a video.

There are certain things I look for in a good Augoeides weird news story. I recently came across this article, which manages to connect ghosts, sex, and Britist reality television. In short, it's absolutely perfect. According to several accounts, a contestant on the British reality television series The Jump was "sexually violated" by a ghost in her hotel room.

British paralympian Kadeena Cox and retired rugby star Gareth Thomas are two of the celebrities competing on “The Jump,” a British show where famous people compete in various snow sports ― a “Ski Jump With The Stars,” if you will.

The season’s first episode aired Sunday on the Channel 4 network. But the show is scaring up more attention for what’s happening in the celebs’ hotel rooms. During the episode, the 25-year-old Cox reportedly asked for a new room after allegedly being sexually violated by a ghost.

Another competing celebrity, Emma Parker-Bowles, the Duchess of Corwall’s niece, said on the show that Cox “was penetrated” by some sort of paranormal entity. Thomas, 42, concurred.

“She had a ghost going in and out of her. She had a sleep thing,” he said, according to the Sun. “She wishes it were a person… It was going in and out of her body.” The feeling was apparently so real to her, she asked for a room change, as did Thomas.

Now my degree is in psychology and I'm familiar with hypnogogic hallucinations and the like. It's possible something like that is going on here, maybe having to do with the conditions in that particular room. But what if it really is the work of a wayward spirit?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Nothing Magical About It

Lady Gaga's performance at Sunday's Super Bowl has been hailed by music critics as quite impressive. The singer performed a medley of some of her most popular hits, along with a coordinated dance number that included a wire flying harness and pre-programmed drones. And she sang the whole thing live while dancing (and flying above the stage) energetically, without any lip-syncing and without missing a beat.

But for conspiracy nut Alex Jones, the performance was far more sinister than an excellently executed musical number. Because Jones doesn't actually know anything about magick, he decided that the performance had to be a Satanic ritual and an act of "lesser magic." You know, whatever the hell that's supposed to be.

However, before the match started, infamous alt-right spokesperson and InfoWars founder Alex Jones took to Facebook to warn followers not to watch Gaga’s show because she’s the spawn of Satan and part of the ‘New World Order’.

After claiming Gaga “does rituals” and pointing out she once wore a meat suit, Jones said the Super Bowl “organisers are deciding to defile America and break our will by having us bow down to this.”

“They say she’s going to stand on top of the stadium, ruling over everyone with drones everywhere, surveilling everyone in a big swarm,” he said. “To just condition them to say ‘I am the Goddess of Satan’ ruling over them with the rise of the robots in a ritual of lesser magic.”

He continues to rant about the ‘New World Order’, how Trump has ruined Gaga’s Satanic plan to dominate the world, and slapping himself on the back for being a ‘free thinker’.

I'm convinced that a big part of where all this comes from is that Alex Jones is literally too stupid to recognize a magical ritual if it came up and bit him. Remember his ranting about the "Satanic Magical Ritual" performed by the Bohemian Society at their Bohemian Grove retreat? Here's what that bit of "magick" actually entails.

A group of people dressed in robes carry a fake body on a stretcher. They place the body inside a giant stone owl that speaks with the recorded voice of Walter Cronkite. It used to be the real voice of Walter Cronkite, who was a member, but after he died they have had to make due with a recording. All stand solemnly while the fake body burns inside the owl. The name of this ceremony is "The Cremation of Care." Its intent is to dramatize members setting aside their material and mundane concerns and just hang out with their brothers - and be, you know, Bohemian.

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Zodiacal Work - Gemini

This article is Part Three in a series. Part One can be found here, and Part Two can be found here.

The work of the Zodiac is neglected by most magical resources intended for beginners. The reason for this is that in the tradition, students start out studying the elemental work, move on to the planetary work, and only after that explore the system of the Zodiac. But in the context of practical work, the signs are important, because they represent half of the practical magical powers listed in Liber 777.

When going through this series, you can refer back to my Angels of the Zodiac presentation for additional information. The presentation goes into greater detail regarding some aspects of the zodiacal work, as does my Evoking Zodiacal Angels article in Liber Spirituum.

Today I will be moving on to the sign Gemini. In Liber 777, Gemini is attributed to the "Power of being in two or more places at one time, and of Prophecy." The first of those can be related to astral projection, and I have in fact heard of magicians being able to appear to others in astral form. Personally, I'm not sure how useful that is because it has some limitations, but Gemini would be the power to call upon in order to do it. Prophecy is to the ability to see into the future - in parapsychology terms, precognition - which has a wide variety of possible applications.

The usefulness of those applications is complicated by the structure of time. There is a big debate among quantum physicists as to whether the "one world" or "many worlds" interpretation of quantum theory is the most correct. From personal experience, what time looks like is something that I guess I would call "multiple worlds." It doesn't seem to branch nearly as much as strict "many worlds" predicts - that is, at every quantum interaction - but it does always seem to branch into several possible outcomes. This likely explains at least some of the inaccurate prophecies of the past - the prophet in question saw one of the possible timelines, but not the one that we happen to be on.

In Qabalah, the signs correspond to the twelve single letters of the Hebrew alphabet. These letters are so named because they correspond to a single specific sounds. The signs are all attributed to the sephira Chockmah, and are associated with paths only in the context of practical magical work. The sephiroth represent states of manifestation, whereas the paths represent the movement of energy between those states.